As losses pile up, Moxley sees improvement

Women’s hockey keeps it close in two weekend defeats

Kara Goodwin scored three goals over the weekend, but Buffalo State women’s hockey fell in both of its games to Potsdam by scores of 3-2 Friday and 4-2 Saturday.

The Bengals (2-19 overall, 2-12 SUNYAC) got on the board first on Friday, but were held off for the rest of the game. In Saturday’s matchup, upset after a missed call by the officials in the second period, Buffalo State battled back from a two-goal deficit in the third and was only stopped by a goal from Potsdam’s Jordan Ott right off of a faceoff with about six minutes left.

“My heart broke for them because I really wanted them to come out with a win,” head coach Candice Moxley said of Saturday’s result. “They definitely deserved to win that game, but unfortunately the hockey gods weren’t in our favor.”

Despite the losses, Moxley was heartened by her team’s grit, particularly in the second game, and is focusing on the progress her players have made since opening weekend.

“I feel like the girls… did their jobs and stayed in shape over Christmas break, and that definitely showed on the ice,” she said, citing the Bengals’ third game of the season against Adrian on Jan. 11, when they held the Bulldogs to just three goals against as opposed to the 12 they conceded on Nov. 10, as evidence of their maturation over the season.

Goodwin in particular has taken pride in the fact that the team has come together.

“We’re finally putting the puck in the net and seeing the hard work we put in at practices,” she said. “With such a short bench, it’s so rewarding to see such improvement.”

Goodwin, a forward and an alternate captain, accounts for a lot of that offensive output, scoring the lone Buffalo State goal on Friday and scoring twice to pull the Bengals even in the third period on Saturday. After this weekend, she leads the team with 12 goals.

Although she carried the team, Goodwin stressed that everyone was responsible for the renewed focus that led to such a close score.

“In the locker room… we all calmed ourselves down and talked about what we needed to do to get back into the game,” she said. “Our focus level was at an all-time high.”

That focus and drive contributed to what goaltender Jordan Lee called “one of the best periods we’ve played all year.

“We keep making progress every day,” she added.

In the final weeks of the season, the Bengals are looking to re-create that twenty-minute effort and make it last an entire game.

“It’s trying not to play it safe,” Moxley said. “A lot of the times because we do have a shorter bench, the girls come out and play in reserve mode… while I’m telling them, ‘Nope, you need to go all out,’ and it’s fighting through those mental barriers.

“We’re not even scratching the surface here. We have another sixty minutes in us.”

The women’s hockey plays Neumann at 3 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Ice Arena.

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